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Saving power on low-current application

  1. May 29, 2014 #1
    I'm using an Arduino with some load cells to collect weight data over long periods of time (days etc.) and I'm using a 12V lead-acid motorcycle battery to power the entire thing. My electronics only need 7V to operate, so I am essentially wasting 5/12 (~40%) of the power.

    The entire setup only draws about 20mA, so I cannot use a DC to DC converter because they have a no-load current of 10mA which is too much.

    Is there anything else I can do to save that power and extend battery life?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 29, 2014 #2
    I'm guessing you don't need continuous data because of the long time period. Why not put the circuit to sleep with a low power timer?
  4. May 29, 2014 #3
    We already are putting the sensors to sleep, but the Arduino microcontroller cannot be rebooted fast enough. The system must be ready to collect data for the entire time. The microcontroller is drawing most of the power.
  5. May 29, 2014 #4
    What do you mean it can't be rebooted fast enough? How often are you collecting data? And I'm pretty sure most arduino's have a built in sleep mode that draws less than a milli-amp.
  6. May 30, 2014 #5


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  7. May 30, 2014 #6


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  8. Jun 3, 2014 #7
    This could be a good idea. You duty cycle the system. So, only a potion of time it is awake.
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